The Saudi Populace Discovers the Free Speech Capabilities of Twitter
By on October 22nd, 2012

The Arab world is seeing a massive power shift, so much so that there is a specific term for it — the Arab Spring. This geopolitical region has seen a massive uprising, and archaic governments have been overthrown in numerous Arab countries over the last few years. While a large part of this revolution is driven by real-life demonstrations and protests, there is another face of this revolution being held on the Internet via Twitter.

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Twitter is known for its transparency and free speech, and people from the world over are leveraging this powerful platform to voice their opinions and concerns. Saudi Arabia is not untouched by the power of Twitter, and there has been open criticism of the royal family of Saudi Arabia on Twitter recently — something that no one had dared to do in the past.

The New York Times says,

Unlike other media, Twitter has allowed Saudis to cross social boundaries and address delicate subjects collectively and in real time, via shared subject headings like “Saudi Corruption” and “Political Prisoners,” known in Twitter as hashtags. With so many people writing mostly under their real names — there are some 2.9 million users in the kingdom, according to one recent study, and it is the world’s fastest-growing Twitter zone.

Saudi Arabia has its own whistleblower on Twitter, who goes by the name of “Mujtahidd “. This account has leaked numerous incidents of corruption in the country, especially related to the royal family. The Saudi government has tried its level best to restrict free speech by banning numerous topics of conversation in public or print media, but their lack of control over Twitter does not provide for regulatory means that they would like to enjoy, and this makes Twitter their nemesis.

Clearly, Saudi Arabia is geared up for a revolution, and Twitter is playing a decisive role in it.

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Author: Chinmoy Kanjilal Google Profile for Chinmoy Kanjilal
Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. He rants occasionally at Techarraz.com. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.

Chinmoy Kanjilal has written and can be contacted at chinmoy@techie-buzz.com.

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